Mapping strain exerted on blood vessel walls using deuterium double-quantum-filtered MRI

Yehuda Sharf, Yoshiteru Seo, Uzi Eliav, Solang Akselrod, Gil Navon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A technique is described for displaying distinct tissue layers of large blood vessel walls as well as measuring their mechanical strain. The technique is based on deuterium double-quantum-filtered (DQF) spectroscopic imaging. The effectiveness of the double-quantum filtration in suppressing the signal of bulk water is demonstrated on a phantom consisting of rat tail tendon fibers. Only intrafibrillar water is displayed, excluding all other signals of water molecules that reorient isotropically. One- and two-dimensional spectroscopic imaging of bovine aorta and coronary arteries show the characteristic DQF spectrum of each of the tissue layers. This property is used to obtain separate images of the outer layer, the tunica adventitia, or the intermediate layer, the tunica media, or both. To visualize the effect of elongation, the average residual quadrupole splitting 〈Δvq〉 is calculated for each pixel. Two-dimensional deuterium quadrupolar splitting images are obtained for a fully relaxed and a 55% elongated sample of bovine coronary artery. These images indicate that the strong effect of strain is associated with water molecules in the tunica adventitia whereas the DQF NMR signal of water in the tunica media is apparently strain-insensitive. After appropriate calibration, these average quadrupolar splitting images can be interpreted as strain maps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4108-4112
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number8
StatePublished - 14 Apr 1998


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